SpiresArt in Omagh has broken into the German marketplace with help from Invest Northern Ireland. The company, a specialist in artwork, glass art and mirrors, has signed a deal with an agent in Germany worth around £60,000.
The company was assisted by Invest NI in Dusseldorf to secure the business which will see it supply products to upmarket department stores throughout northern Germany. The contract was announced by Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI Trade Director, and Colm McRory, SpiresArt Managing Director.
The company currently employs 16 full and part time employees in supplying bespoke and off-the-shelf products for interior designers and retailers in the United Kingdom, Ireland and the Netherlands. The company also provides quality artwork to hotels, hospitals, homes and public spaces.
Dr Kell said: “The success of SpiresArt in Germany is a further example of a smaller Northern Ireland company succeeding in one of the world’s most competitive and quality conscious markets. It shows that our companies, both large and small, can succeed in Germany by focusing resources on this important market and by working in partnership with our experienced marketing team there and exploiting niche opportunities.
“Germany is an affluent market that has moved out of recession and is on target to achieve GDP growth of over three per cent for the final quarter of 2010. Consumers there are, once again, spending on quality and innovative products with a strong design input. Our research shows that there are worthwhile opportunities for local companies across a range of sectors including engineering, which is actually one of Germany’s export strengths.
“Invest NI services are shaped to provide practical support for both newcomers to the market and experienced exporters, and make it as easy as possible for companies to gain experience of business procedures and requirements there. Services include tailored market research, lead generation and assistance in areas such as logistics and translation support for business meetings. Our Dusseldorf team members have extensive experience in assisting local companies during meetings with potential customers in the German market.”
Mr McRory said: “We’d been looking at the German market following our success in winning our first business in the Netherlands early in 2010. We saw an opportunity to secure our first contract in Germany and turned to Invest NI for advice and guidance.
“The support we received was extremely helpful and enabled us to sign an agreement with an agent who will ensure access to key department stores in Dusseldorf and other parts of northern Germany. This will provide a platform for us to investigate other German regional markets. Initial feedback about our products has been very positive and we expect to build on this contract over the next 12 months.
“Our strategy will be to use the experience we gain in the market to develop a bespoke range of products geared to the tastes and requirements of consumers across Germany and to use this foothold to reach interior designers and specifiers involved in major private and public contracts including hotels, hospitals and public spaces,” he added.